Christmas Under the Lights

A Christmas Poem

by Rob Lindquist 

Nineteen fifty-three Christmas time, you see.
I was all alone; No one to play with me.

I heard a car drive up And saw my prospects rise,
For in the car was cousin Mark With sparkles in his eyes.

For Mark was very, very bright. He had some fancy toys. The train he’d got the year before
Just mystified us boys.

Mark knew how to run it; Steam it up and gun it.
He’d turn a knob and get that train
To fly “a mile a minute”.

T’was back in ‘fifty-three
That he came to visit me.
Quick, up the stairs we flew
To a secret room I knew.

In this little attic
My dad had all his things,
Like flying suits and leather boots,
And a cap with eagle wings.

Mark saw just what he wanted;
A dream before his eyes;
Headphones with some dangling wires,
Real ones, grown-up size.

My cousin was a perfect whiz.
Fixin’ gadgets was his biz’.
So down our wooden stairs he ran
With daddy’s headphones in his hand.

Then he paused before the den;
Our Christmas tree was there;
All bright with balls and glitter;
Its lights shone everywhere.

Mark turned ‘round to me
And asked if I would care
To hear a real live radio
Through the phones we’d brought
Downstairs?

He said he could connect us
Directly to the lights
And I could talk to China;
He’d wire me in tonight!

Pliers from the kitchen
Removed the headset plug.
The Tree cord then was severed,
Mark was turning smug.

“Turn the lights off quick!”
Mark’s magic had begun
He got that cord “rewired”
Now, we’d have some fun!

“Okay..! You put ‘em on!
I’ll go and light the tree.
Listen really good
Then give ‘em back to me!”

He flipped the light switch up
The earphones made a “SCREECH!”
A ‘POP’ and ‘BOOM’ soon followed
The breaker switch was breeched.

The house was in the dark.
My auntie and my mother
Went bumping through the rooms:
“What in heck’s the matter?”

Mark and I were angels
Standing by the tree.
“Nothin’”going on here;
“Good as we can be!”

Nothing but some blackened wires
And, yes, some smelly smoke.
Nothing to be punished for.
“No kidding, Mom, a joke!”

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